Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Cube

Many years ago, I used to make cube-shaped ottomans from discontinued samples of upholstery and home dec fabric that I could get at a nearby fabric store for a dollar each. I would sew the fabric squares into a cube, with a zipper on one seam, and give them away to family and friends. The idea was to stuff the cube with all those packing peanuts you end up with when you order things in the mail, but which your are loath to just throw in the trash. I don't remember how many I made, but there are at least two in existence today. One we have, but we gave up on the packing peanuts a long time ago, because they would break down and then the cube would spew styrofoam dust around the house when kids jumped on it. I tried stuffing it with fabric scraps, but that made it into a heavy, shapeless lump. So now it sits in the basement, awaiting new life and another kind of stuffing.

But last time I was at my sister's house, I saw that she still had hers and that it was stuffed full of peanuts and being used in its full footrest glory (with no little kids to mash the stuffing into packing peanut dust).

Last winter she asked me to make her another one, because she had a lot of packing peanuts, but at the time I was between sewing machines, and then I got busy making sleeping quilts, and then I went hiking and then suddenly it was November, with her birthday coming up.

I didn't have time to go to the store with the upholstery fabric samples, but I happened to be at my local-ish fabric store the day before Thanksgiving and decided to pick up some home dec fat quarters. At first I was disappointed in their selection—nothing seemed to go together—then I decided to focus on a single color, that sort of magenta-ish—and was able to come up with six different, fun, funky fabrics, that look awesome together.

It took me a while longer to actually sit down and sew the damn thing together  (and a bit of head scratching, and googling, to figure out how to make it into a cube—the secret is to stop sewing a half-inch shy of each end on the first four seams), so it was well after my sister's birthday once I got it in the mail, but hopefully she'll be pleased with it, and still have all those packing peanuts.

Here it is, less-than cube-ish, stuffed with laundry.

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